The European Research Area (ERA) – meeting the challenges of the future through greater ‘integration’ of Europe’s research efforts and capacities.
The European Research Area is an umbrella term for implementing the European Union’s declared ambition of achieving a genuine common research policy. This includes the integration of Member States’ scientific and technological capacities.
Europe has a long-standing tradition of excellence in research and innovation – indeed European teams continue to lead the way in many fields of science and technology. However, its centres of excellence are scattered across a growing number of Member States, leading to fragmentation and an absence of adequate networking and communication.
Collective will … and skill
In the past, collaborative actions have been initiated at the transnational and EU levels, but Europe’s research efforts need to be better channelled to achieve a research and innovation structure equivalent to the ‘common market’ for goods and services. This structure is provided in the context of ERA, which ushers in a new stage by introducing a coherent and concerted approach from which joint strategies can be developed across the EU.
With ERA, Europe is giving itself the resources with which to fully exploit its exceptional potential in becoming what the Lisbon European Summit (March 2000) called ‘the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010’.
This drive and energy provided by ERA also gives valuable impetus to the aeronautics research activities performed both in and between Member States of the Union.